Some of my friends really loved this one and a couple of them seemed to hate it. In typical contrarian fashion, I fell smack-dab in the middle. Amy Harmon was a name that was mentioned to me many times, both for her YA fantasy novel and her new adult romances. THE LAW OF MOSES starts off with several chapters of info dumping as we get to know the hero and heroine, Georgia and Moses. Georgia lives on a farm, and is the daughter of people who use horses for physical and emotional therapy for troubled teens and kids. Moses was the son of a crack addict and was found abandoned in a laundromat. Georgia is attracted to Moses and goes manic pixie dream girl on his ass, and he manic pixie dream boys her right on back with his supernatural painting that turns out to be tied into an ability to communicate psychically with the dead.
While reading this book, I kept thinking about how it was reminding me of something that I'd read a while ago, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it until a few hours ago, when I was reading horror lists on Goodreads and happened across Dean Koontz's ODD THOMAS, and thought to myself, "Yes, that's what this is reminding me of! A manic but star-crossed love story with a boy who can speak to the dead? Oh, yeah, bring on the pain." And there is pain; the author straight-up warns you from the beginning of the book that this story isn't going to be all sunshine and roses. She wasn't wrong.
I liked the author's writing style but there were still a number of embarrassing typos that revealed this author's self-published origins ("knickers" instead of "nickers" to refer to a sound a horse makes), and thought that she kind of had a wallowing sense of poetry that hearkens back to my Sarah Dessen days, when I thought that being self-absorbed and full of angst made you cool and interesting. I think I would have loved this book a lot more when I was fourteen, chowing down on angst the way I did Taco Bell or Starbucks frappuccinos. I did think that the pacing was off (the beginning was tedious and sometimes there were chunks of the story I had to skim because it was just one of the characters pontificating on their woes). I also didn't really feel much of a connection between Moses and Georgia. Georgia was irritating and Moses was kind of a jerk. I didn't understand the obsession, there.
THE LAW OF MOSES is definitely creative, and in a genre where many of the titles feel like derivatives of the last big hit, I appreciated that. I also appreciated the writing and the author's ability to emotionally manipulate her readers with devastating events. It might have hit harder if I'd liked the characters more and if they'd been better fleshed out, but I still think that Harmon is an author to watch and I look forward to reading the other books of hers that I have waiting on my Kindle.
2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars